Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind Rendering; Courtesy of Disney/Marvel
Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind
Walt Disney World Resort, Lake Buena Vista, Florida
Inspired by the Guardians of the Galaxy film franchise, this family-friendly “story coaster” sends riders on an epic chase through time and space to save the galaxy alongside the heroes of Xandar: Rocket, Groot, Drax, Gamora and Star-Lord of Marvel fame.
Not only is this all-new attraction one of the world’s longest enclosed coasters, but it’s also the first coaster in the history of Disney to feature a reverse launch. Another new Disney Imagineering innovation is the coaster’s four-passenger ride cars that rotate 360 degrees so that you’re immersed in the action at every exciting turn.
The experience begins in the walk-through Wonders of Xandar Pavilion, one of Disney’s largest show buildings, constructed, as the storyline goes, by Xandarians who traveled from their homeland in the Andromeda galaxy to Earth. Here, you can see planets, stars and other intergalactic spectacles in the planetarium-style Galaxarium as well as learn about the Xandarians and their out-of-this-world technologies through displays and projections in the Xandar Gallery. Then things go awry, you board the ride, and the chase is on!
The coaster is set to open this summer in the new World Discovery neighborhood at EPCOT, just in time for Walt Disney World’s 50th-anniversary celebration and EPCOT’s 40th birthday.
Pantheon, Busch Gardens Williamsburg; Image Courtesy of Busch Gardens
Busch Gardens,Williamsburg, Virginia
Originally slated to debut in 2020, the all-new Pantheon was unveiled this past March in Virginia’s Europe-themed park, and by all accounts, the wait was worth it.
Pantheon now holds the record as the world’s fastest multi-launch roller coaster, clocking in at a top speed of 73 miles per hour and towering up to 180 feet high. Two trains with 20 passengers each take thrill-seekers on a stomach-somersaulting two-minute adventure that encompasses four launches, including a 63-mile-per-hour backward launch; five airtime hills; two inversions; and a 95-degree drop. Themed on five Roman gods—Mercury, Neptune, Jupiter, Pluto and Minerva, with each one representing a section of the snaking 3,328-foot track—the coaster is all about speed, might and mayhem.
Located in the Festa Italia village, Pantheon brings Busch Gardens Williamsburg’s coaster count to eight. Recently, the park, which comprises nine meticulously landscaped villages in six countries, was voted the World’s Most Beautiful Park for the 31st consecutive year by the National Amusement Park Historical Association.
Jolly Rancher Remix Rendering; Courtesy of Hersheypark
Jolly Rancher Remix
Hersheypark, Hershey, Pennsylvania
Just looking at the bright colors, looping labyrinth of steel track, and light-infused “flavor tunnel” of this candy-themed coaster is sure to make your head spin and stomach somersault—in a good way.
Expected to roll out this summer, this boomerang-style coaster is a reimagining of the park’s Sidewinder coaster. This new sensory-loaded take on an old favorite delivers a wild ride that sends passengers, who are seated in train cars in rows of two, careening forward and backward and through six inversions—including a cobra roll and vertical loop—in 90 seconds. It also features five randomly timed “flavor rides,” each with its own music, lighting and Jolly Rancher scents (think watermelon, green apple and so on), so you’re likely to experience a different ride every time.
Complementing this thrill coaster and also debuting this summer is the all-new Mix’d Flavored By Jolly Rancher ride, which shares the same slice of real estate in the park’s Pioneer Frontier land. This family ride starts by spinning passengers, who are seated—feet a-dangling—in one of four swinging arms, 360 degrees. It then “mixes in” a series of lifts and drops as you dodge riders in the other arms that are swung intentionally too close for comfort. All the while, you’re afforded prime views of neighboring Jolly Rancher Remix.